Juno: A Mission from Earth to Jupiter
Have you ever wondered what it’s life is like on Jupiter? Well, Jupiter, is the fifth planet from the Sun, and has not totally been discovered. Juno, is the solution. A spacecraft launched on August 5, 2011, with a mission to find out more about Jupiter. It’s first piece of research started on July 5, 2016, as it circled around the planet.
Juno was sent to find out Jupiter’s evolution. In order to find the planet’s core, measure the water, and the magnetic and gravity fields. The spacecraft’s infrared and microwave tools are measuring the radiation coming from Jupiter’s atmosphere. Pictures of Jupiter are taken using the new camera, the JunoCam! The goal is to find out the origins of Jupiter and its atmosphere. So far, Juno has discovered tons of things surrounding the large planet, as well as inside it. In the future, Juno is going to study Jupiter’s sixty-seven moons! After finishing its thirty-seven orbits around the great planet, Juno’s mission around Jupiter is supposed to continue to the end of February of 2018! It will deorbit into Jupiter, meaning it will almost blow up into the giant planet.
Juno the spacecraft was launched in the Cape Canaveral Air Force base in Florida. It was launched atop the Atlas V rocket, one of the most powerful rockets in the world. The Atlas V launched into space with Juno on top of it. Juno’s solar panels were folded up until it was released from the Atlas V. Then, it was free! Juno’s solar panels unfolded, finally bringing the spacecraft to life. Beginning the adventure, Juno orbited around Earth, along with the Sun while people on the mission started preparing for Juno’s journey to Jupiter.
Juno took five years to fly to Jupiter and included an Earth flyby in 2013, and which Earth was also supposed to give Juno an gravitorial assist on its way to Jupiter. A gravitorial assist is when Juno takes a bit of Earth’s strength. It then has enough power to go to Jupiter. The flyby had another purpose, which was also so the team behind Juno’s mission could practice things. In order to get its power, Juno has large solar panels that gives it energy from the Sun. In total, Juno’s mission was planned for seven years. Five of the years getting there, and the other two years of studying and observing.
Juno uses solar panels instead of radioisotope thermoelectric generators. This was the first spacecraft to go to Jupiter that wasn’t using the RTG. Juno also has nine other tools that helps it do the research around Jupiter. Juno’s dimensions are 20.1 m x 4.6 which is pretty big. (66 x 15ft) In all, the satellite costed 1.1 billion dollars!
In all, Juno’s mission will help NASA tons, as well as giving people opportunities to see Jupiter in ways they have never seen before!